Georgian woman, ‘world’s oldest person’, turns 130

July 9th, 2010 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 9 (IANS) A woman from a remote mountain village in Georgia has turned 130, making her the oldest person on earth, officials in the former Soviet republic have claimed.
Antisa Khvichava from western Georgia was born July 8, 1880, said Georgiy Meurnishvili, spokesman for the civil registry at the justice ministry.

According to records, the woman, who lives with her 40-year-old grandson in a country house in the mountains, retired from her job as a tea and corn picker in 1965 when she was 85, the Daily Mail reported.

“I’ve always been healthy, and I’ve worked all my life - at home and at the farm,” Antisa said.

Sitting in a chair, Antisa spoke quietly through an interpreter - since she never went to school to learn Georgian and speaks only the local language, Mingrelian.

Her age couldn’t immediately be independently verified. Her birth certificate was lost - one of the great number to have disappeared in the past century amid revolutions and a civil war which followed the collapse of the USSR.

But Meurnishvili showed two Soviet-era documents that he says attest to her age.

Scores of officials, neighbours, friends, and descendants backed up her claim as the world’s top senior.

The Gerontology Research Group currently recognises 114-year-old Eugenie Blanchard of Saint Barthelemy, France, as the world’s oldest person. The US-based research group is yet to examine Antisa’s claim.

Antisa has a son, 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and six great, great grandchidren.

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